I thought I had it down pat. When I lived in Fargo, I figured out the best way to appear "clean-shaven" on a daily bases was to shave "down" (with the hair grain) each morning on weekdays (workdays), and then only shave "up" (against the grain) on Friday, so I'd be extra smooth for the weekend "fun". I did it like this because if I tried to shave against the grain every day I'd get irritated skin and razor burn. So I thought I had it all figured out.
Here on death row I don't need to appear clean-shaven at all, but I still don't like the itch and hassle of having a beard, so I've been shaving "against the grain" just once or twice a week, which I can do without the skin irritation, and which gives me the personally pleasing "extra smooth" mug once or twice a week for my own gratification (i.e. it "feels nice").
Then the other day while flipping channels I saw part of a popular sitcom where a man was in the bathroom explaining to his young son how to shave while he himself did so in the mirror. And to my amazement he told the boy to first shave with the grain (down) and THEN shave against the grain! I had never tried this, nor heard of it being done that way before. I always assumed you must shave one way or the other and never considered doing both in proper sequence.
So, I tried it, and it works1 I can now shave extra smooth every day if I like with no skin irritation! I'm 56 years old and have been shaving for at least 36 years, and I'm only now figuring this out? How strange the way we learn, and don't learn, at the whim of life.
[J.D. March 29, 2019]